Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a type of radiation therapy for eradicating tumor cells through a 10B(n,α)7Li reaction in the presence of 10B in cancer cells. When delivering a high absorbed dose to cancer cells using BNCT, both the timeline of 10B concentrations and the relative long dose-delivery time compared to photon therapy must be considered. Changes in radiosensitivity during such a long dose-delivery time can reduce the probability of tumor control; however, such changes have not yet been evaluated. Here, we propose an improved integrated microdosimetric-kinetic model that accounts for changes in microdosimetric quantities and dose rates depending on the 10B concentration and investigate the cell recovery (dose-rate effects) of melanoma during BNCT irradiation. The integrated microdosimetric-kinetic model used in this study considers both sub-lethal damage repair and changes in microdosimetric quantities during irradiation. The model, coupled with the Monte Carlo track structure simulation code of the Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System, shows good agreement with in vitro experimental data for acute exposure to 60Co γ-rays, thermal neutrons, and BNCT with 10B concentrations of 10 ppm. This indicates that microdosimetric quantities are important parameters for predicting dose-response curves for cell survival under BNCT irradiations. Furthermore, the model estimation at the endpoint of the mean activation dose exhibits a reduced impact of cell recovery during BNCT irradiations with high linear energy transfer (LET) compared to 60Co γ-rays irradiation with low LET. Throughout this study, we discuss the advantages of BNCT for enhancing the killing of cancer cells with a reduced dose-rate dependency. If the neutron spectrum and the timelines for drug and dose delivery are provided, the present model will make it possible to predict radiosensitivity for more realistic dose-delivery schemes in BNCT irradiations.
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